Gene Lyons is more than just wrong.
San Francisco Chronicle
Lyons makes a strong argument. His book should be uncomfortable reading for the management of the Times and the other big-time media.
New York Magazine
Lyons offers the first fully credible version of what happened.
LA Times Book Review
[His] bookwhich follows an earlier Harper's Magazine articleadds to the growing and legitimate argument that America's mainstream pressfar from being ideologicalhas simply gone bloodthirsty.
Lyons doesn't claim that the Clintons never did anything wrong, but he convincingly shows that many [Whitewater] charges against them are exaggerated, politically motivated or flat-out wrong.
On March 8, 1992, the New York Times published an article by investigative reporter Jeff Gerth. The headline said, "Clintons Joined S&L Operator in an Ozark Real Estate Venture." That venture later became known as Whitewater. Lyons has written this timely, important book (based in part on an article that appeared in the October 1994 issue of Harper's Magazine) because he believes that Gerth, the Times and other news organizations have created a damaging political scandal out of misinterpretation, innuendo and a bias against Arkansas. Lyons (Widow's Web) surely knows that his book, if deemed believable, will help Clinton's reelection campaign and cleanse some of the dirt from the image of the President and the First Lady. The task is to determine the credibility of Lyons, an Arkansas native who is no friend of Bill and certainly no friend of major media organizations that have, he says, bungled the Clinton "scandal" stories, sometimes with malice aforethought. The verdict: Lyons is credible more often than not. His dense analyses of specific stories from the New York Times and elsewhere point out errors of fact and interpretation. The book would be far more convincing, however, if it included copies of documents referred to over and over as proof of media incompetence and/or ill will. The appendices that are included are helpful but not sufficient to make the strongest possible case. (Aug.)
Lyons argues that Whitewater is basically a hoax created and sustained by the media. He singles out the New York Times for special attention and offers a detailed critique of its Whitewater coverage; four major stories from the Times are included in the appendix. The partisan sources that journalists have relied on for their articles are documented here. Lyons, now a columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, is a passionate and witty writer who has covered Whitewater for Harper's Magazine. Although it is too early for the definitive Whitewater book, and recent convictions and new unindicted co-conspirators test his argument, Lyons offers details for those paying close attention to the case. Add to journalism collections and to libraries where books on current events circulate well.Judy Solberg, George Washington Univ., Washington, D.C.
The Atlantic Monthly
[Lyons] makes a strong case that the whole Whitewater business is 'possibly the most politically charged case of journalistic malpractice in recent American history.'
Drawing on years of newspapering, Lyons catalogs a disturbing list of mistakes and omissions that he found in stories by the national press, especially [The] New York Times. . .
The American Spectator
Gene Lyons is more than just wrong.
He demonstrates pretty convincingly that the Times investigative reporter who broke the story ignored or didn't understand crucial information.
What People Are Saying
An excellent exegesis of Whitewater.